By Momo Quazi
The book fair of Toronto is not only to showcase the Bengali books but also related to our core identity as Bengali people. And this year the Book fair was not like any other book fairs as this was its 12th anniversary. So, it was a double celebration this year. It took place at the Royal Legion Hall; a very known and famous building among the Bangladeshi community in Toronto on 7th and 8th july from 11.00am to 11.00 pm.This book fair has been going on for 12 year but the year of 2018 had the highest numbers of publications that were very successful in their respective fields. Among them were Ankur, Ananya, Shomoy, Kothaprokash, Mawla Brothers, Onnoprokash, Shondesh, and Nalonda who were quite popular.
The Bangladeshi community in Canada is growing rapidly and among them Mr. Sadi Ahamed is very much known as the most dedicated contributor and organizer of the Toronto Bengali book fair. In the cultural field of Toronto, in any literary event or even for a good informative speech the organizers always go to him for a good suggestion. He is the person who opened the very first Bengali book store “Onnomela” in Toronto. Besides he also opened the Onnomela foundation and he is the person who introduced the idea of a Bengali book fair in Toronto. He along with his friends and volunteers contributed much of their time and effort t to make this milestone of a fair successful this year.
Amongst the dignitaries, one of the people the audience was incredibly happy to see was Lutfor Rahman Riton. We also had our very own Toronto poet, Asad Chowdhury. We were also blessed to have Selina Chowdhury and Zakir Talukder and Shadi Vai among us. Poetry lovers were starstruck by being surrounded by these people. Despite being already impressed by the books and the literary figures present at the fair, we also were entertained by songs, dance debate and other special discussions. The fair had also arranged a fun rally. The two days book fair was jam packed with different events. Culturally Bangladeshi, these events took the community to Bangladesh… Amazing Biplob Karr has trained those little children fantastically. The colorful dresses were amazing and made everyone proud to have such rich culture. We had community singers and performers entertaining the guests. The Bengali book fair was a matter of pride for the Bangladeshi community as it was a symbol of our own culture, language and identity. Regardless of the people buying a book or not, most of the community members showed upo to this amazing fair and we got a little feeling of our homeland.